Skip Navigation

Leading During Covid: An HR Executive Roundtable, April 4 at 6:30 pm, Pictures of smiling HR execs

Overcoming Challenges, Discovering Opportunities 

On April 7th, several prominent HR executives joined Dr. Leo Giglio, director of SPD’s Human Resource Management graduate program, to discuss how HR has changed during the pandemic. The group talked about the many ways that the HR functions have been harder during the pandemic, but also some of the benefits the widespread changes have brought.

The panel included Doug Silverman, Director of Human Resources & Operations for

Nikon; Angela Chewning, Vice President of Dayton T. Brown Inc.; Katie Raftery, Chief HR Officer at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Jill Zweigbaum, Director of Talent Acquisition at The Estee Lauder Companies and Liz Uzzo, Chief HR Officer at H2M Architects. Al Pisano, SPD faculty member in the Higher Education and Teaching and Learning With Technology programs, hosted the event.

“In HR you are told that you need to be agile...and change directions as necessary, and there hasn’t been another year in which this was more apparent,” Zweigbaum said. Other panel members discussed particular shifts, including buying new technology and handling layoffs.

The group also discussed training, expectations for working at home versus on location, their careers in HR and other issues.

“Nothing prepared us for something of this magnitude,” Silverman said. “When we had to pivot to a virtual workforce, communication was key.”

Some panel members mentioned some of the positive consequences of the pandemic, including a potentially larger talent pool, a recommitment from HR employees to their companies and more robust policies for emergency situations. Still, it’s been a challenging time, and many professionals are burnt out.

“All HR pros need a major vacation,” Uzzo said. You can watch the whole discussion at




Vice President, Human Resources
Dayton T Brown, Inc.

Angela has 40 years of experience at Dayton T. Brown, Inc. working in all areas of Human Resources. She manages a staff of 4 and divides her time among the three divisions.  In addition she represents the company and Dayton T. Brown, Jr., Chairman and CEO, in the community, universities and political events.


Vice President, Chief HR Officer (CHRO)
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Katie has been in the HR field for over 20 years.  She is currently the VP and Chief HR Officer at Cold Spring Harbor Lab, a private, non-profit institution with research programs focusing on cancer, neuroscience, plant biology, genomics, and quantitative biology.  Katie  provides direction, leadership, and management in the formulation of policies, procedures, systems, strategies and practices to provide optimal HR services. She offers consultation services to decision makers at all levels of the organization on issues that have human resources impact.


Director of Human Resources & Operations

Doug has worked within the field of Human Resources and Labor Relations for over 25 years and is currently the VP of Human Resources and Operations for Nikon Inc. at the US headquarters in Melville, NY. Doug is responsible for overseeing the HR responsibilities for North America, Canada, South America and chairs the Global HR Committee. He has worked in over 7 different countries and is a two-time past president for SHRM-LI. He has been an instructor for Stony Brook for the past 13 years.


Sr. Vice President, Chief HR Officer (CHRO)
H2M architects + engineers

Highly active within the A/E industry, Liz has worked closely with peer groups to bring  ‘first-in-class’ HR organizational clarity on operational structure, employee development, recruiting/retaining talent, risk mitigation, regulatory compliance, workforce and succession planning, and strategic planning. She has spoken at national industry conferences on topics such as employee engagement and best practices in human resources.


Director of Talent Acquisition at The Estee Lauder Companies

Jill  is responsible for leading the recruitment team serving the hiring needs for Supply Chain and Research & Development at Estee Lauder.  She has been active in the field of HR for over 30 years in a variety of industries such as Biotechnology, High-Tech Manufacturing and Finance.  She has also served as an adjunct professor at NYU School of Professional Studies for the past 11 years. 

Leo Giglio, PhD

HRM Program Director, Moderator

Before coming to Stony Brook in 2020, Leo Giglio had spent 30 years teaching and designing business and human resource management programs.  A published author, Leo specializes in organizational development and strategy has developed organizational behavior and strategic applications for Fortune 500 companies, small and mid-sized companies, not-for-profits and government agencies.